Willian Molinari's Reviews > Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
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it was amazing
bookshelves: audio

This is a great book that made me pause many times think. This is the kind of book I love to read. I heard some criticism about Yuval's books and they are mostly related to his way to connect things that he is not an expert about. For me, it's the best part of the books because it also makes me consider the connections and think about it. You don't have to assume everything as a truth when you read a book, especially when the books are mostly theoretical (as some of the "forecastings" shown on this one).

It was really interesting to consider that we (Sapiens) may not be the center of evolution here on Earth. It's possible that we will cease to exist or evolve to something else that is not Sapiens. Think about it, and read the book to get the author's ideas on that.

Here are my notes for this book:

- In the past, it was not that uncommon to die of hunger. Nowadays, we have more people dying from obesity than malnutrition
- In times of plagues and infection diseases, people had no idea about bacteria. In their vision, it was some god that was spreading the diseases at night from village to village.
- Currently, sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder. Diabetes is killing more people than violence.
- Death is part of society. If people become amortal, things will start working bad (long-lived, politicians, bosses, dictators, etc.)
- We are not here to serve the state; it is here to serve us
- We become happy when reality matches our expectations
- The evolution optimizes (prioritize quick pleasure) for race survival, not individual happiness
- The more you crave pleasant sensations, the more unsatisfied you will become (because you can't fulfill all of them). Buddha says that you should understand and let the craving go so that you will be happier
- The Best part of learning history is not to try to predict the future but to free yourself from the past
- "For true humanist believers it may sound too pessimistic and depressing."
- Humans are not considering the subjective needs of animals anymore, especially those raised in farms -- :(
- Animals also have their algorithms to survive. The quality control of these algorithms is natural selection. Bad algorithms lead to death and no offspring
- A mother who doesn't care about children may live a long and comfortable life, but hir genes will not be passed for future generations, which means that this behavior will be extinguished
- According to Christianity, God gave an eternal soul only to humans (not animals)
- In Christianity, God mediates the conversation between the man and other things. In animistic faith, humans can talk freely to animals, clouds, and other things to avoid natural disasters, plagues, etc.
- Emotions are biochemical algorithms
- Rene Descartes said that Animals have no feelings or emotions. They react to pain just like a vending machine responds to the action of making coffee
- Traffic jam is the term we use to describe the movement of many cars that causes something else.
- Anger (or other feelings) is the term we use to describe the interconnecting of many neurons that generate something else. It's hard to know what creates a feeling looking to one particular change
- Sapiens dominated earth not because we increased the size of our brain (it is actually smaller) or some physical característics, but because we can collaborate effectively and flexibly. Chimpanzees are not effective, and ants and bees are not flexible at all.
- Rome conquered Greece not because they had larger brains or better tool making, but because they were able to collaborate effectively
- Sapiens don't behave according to a cold mathematical logic; we act according to a social logic. If someone is given money and has to split with someone else in whatever way this person wants, but the other part can accept or reject, they will not give just one dollar or nothing. If the other person refuses he loses everything
- Sapiens use visual signs as a turban, beard, or business suites to say: "You can trust me. I believe in the same stories as you."
- We want to believe that our beliefs have objective meaning, i.e., they are not subjective at all
- When a soldier went to the crusades, he envisions his death with light and angels taking him to the high heavens, as he was fighting for the cause. He would be astonished to know these are all stories created by humans
- The Gods didn't run their business because of the simple fact that they don't exist anywhere other than the humans' imagination. The business was run by priests just like Google and Microsoft have to hire flesh and blood humans to take care of theirs
- Currently, we say that the United States built an Atomic bomb, so why not to say that Farell made a reservoir? Imaginary entities still have power on Earth through humans.
- Schools started focusing on high marks instead of better education. It's one example of the reality adapting to something we invented for the worst
- How to know if something is real? Ask yourself if it can suffer. When they burnt the temple of Zeus, he did not suffer. When the value of the Euro decreases, the Euro doesn't suffer. When a cattle is separate from her newborn, she suffers. When a soldier gets wounded in a war, he suffers.
- Corporations, money, and Nations exist only in our imagination. Why would we sacrifice things to serve something that we created ourselves instead of our own interests?
- Saying that God help us to help ourselves is just like saying that God doesn't exist
- About religion: "We do not believe in superstitions, we believe in the truth. Only other people believe in superstitions" -- LOL
- Free market capitalism says that it's ok to lose family bonds in favor of economic growth. Example: a software engineer paying a low amount of money for a low income and specialized person to take care of her disabled father.
- The economy doesn't have to be a zero-sum game where your profit is my loss; it can be a win-win game.
- Humanism is the opposite of religions like christianism. Instead of God creating meaning to the world, humans are giving meaning to a meaningless world.
- Socialists blame liberalists for focussing on their own feelings and needs and not thinking about others. The human experience is the source of all meaning, but there are billions of people out there with different needs
- While liberalism focus on me and my feelings, socialism demands I stop obsessing about me and my feelings and focus on what others are feeling
- In terms of progress, the war is not that bad. Many things exist because of war today.
"God is dead. It just takes time to get rid of the body" -- LOL
- The Catholic Church brought a lot of innovation in its time. Social organization, usage of libraries, usage of clocks, etc. What is the current innovation of the church compared to companies and scientists? The church is reactive nowadays
- Liberalism believes that humans have free will, but we can be manipulated
- It's possible to stimulate the brain to activate parts that make us want something. We can think that we choose something, but something enabled the "want" for us. It's already being tested in lab rats
- We are testing stimulating helmets in humans. It helps with concentration and focuses by stimulating the right areas of the brain
- We're not individuals as we may have more than one "inner self". Our left and right brain can be disconnected
- It's easy to believe in fantasy because it gives meaning to the suffering ("our boys did not die in vain" in the war)
- We have the experiencing self and the narrator self. The narrator doesn't remember much and creates a story to fill the gaps. Usually, the result is an average of all feelings
People can choose the best locations for their vacation just to go there and waste time using their smartphones -- LOL
- Communism is a centralized data processing system, and capitalism is a decentralized one. Decentralized systems are more resilient to a big failure. Small failures can be easily corrected
- Freedom of information will not be given to humans, but information. Humans may not be the center of this new interconnected information era
- For some people, there's no meaning in not being part of the data flow. "What is the advantage of doing something if nobody is seeing" -- LOLWAT
- In the past, people were used to making jokes about Japanese traveling with big cameras and taking pictures of everything. Now, everyone does that. People don't "have time" to think about what they feel because they are too busy taking pictures, posting them, and waiting for likes
- In the past, having power was having data. Today, having power is knowing what to ignore
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Reading Progress

July 10, 2017 – Shelved
July 10, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 10, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
March 13, 2019 – Started Reading
March 13, 2019 –
March 15, 2019 –
March 19, 2019 –
May 6, 2019 –
May 9, 2019 –
May 12, 2019 – Finished Reading

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